The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


Projects: A Very Short Introduction – new book from CPM’s Professor Andrew Davies

6 November 2017

The Oxford University Press has recently published a new book by CPM's Professor of the Management of Projects, providing a concise and accessible overview of project management and its challenges.

Projects: A Very Short Introduction

Professor Andrew Davies’s latest book, published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), provides a clear, accessible introduction to the challenges involved in the organisation and management of projects while explaining how the different dimensions of projects are understood in theory.

In Projects: A Very Short Introduction, Prof Davies looks at the development of projects since the industrial revolution and the impact it has had in creating the human-built world in which we live, work and play.

I’ve done my best to encapsulate my thinking about the management of projects. I hope people - the readers - find it interesting.
- Professor Andrew Davies

The book identifies how projects are organized and managed to design and produce large and complex systems, cope with fast changing conditions, and deal with the immense uncertainties required to create breakthrough innovations in products and services by looking at some of the world’s biggest achievements including the Erie Canal, the Apollo Moon landing, Japanese product development and Chinese ecocity projects. To conclude, Prof Davies considers how projects could be organised to address the challenges facing the post-industrial society of the 21st century.

Professor Raymond Levitt from Stanford University, who recently delivered the School’s first keynote lecture of 2017-18, says:

"Andrew Davies has written a concise and engaging intellectual history of project management theory and practice, filled with detailed case studies – recommended reading for all scholars and practitioners of project management. This book is a little gem.”

Professor Bent Flyvbjerg, Professor and Chair at Oxford University's Saïd Business School and the first Director of the Oxford's BT Centre for Major Programme Management, says:

“A goldmine of insights into project management – how it is actually done and how it could be done better. Andrew Davies should be read by anyone interested in understanding and improving the management of projects.”

Professor Andy Davies is Professor of the Management of Projects and Director of Research at The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management. Findings from his most recent research on megaprojects has been published in the MIT Sloan Management Review. The paper titled Five Rules for Managing Large, Complex Projects identifies five simple rules demonstrating how innovation is essential to managing uncertainty in large complex projects.

The book is part of Oxford University Press’s Very Short Introductions series, pocket-sized publications combining facts, analysis, perspective and new ideas to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable. The book is available in print and online from the OUP website.